'Yoni was a natural leader - always at the head of his troops'

PM attends memorial ceremony for brother, IDF officer who fell while saving over 100 Jewish hostages in Entebbe.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Memorial for Yoni Netanyahu on Mt. Herzl
Memorial for Yoni Netanyahu on Mt. Herzl
Amos Ben Gershom, GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, his wife Sara Netanyahu, and their sons Yair and Avner participated in a memorial ceremony on Mt. Herzl Sunday in memory of the brother of the Prime Minister, Yoni Netanyahu.

Lieutenant Colonel Yoni Netanyahu was killed in action by a sniper's bullet while commanding the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit during the rescue mission Operation Thunderbolt, in which over 100 Jewish hostages were rescued from Arab terrorists at the Entebbe Airport in Uganda on July 4, 1976.

The memorial ceremony was attended by Yoni's other brother Ido Netanyahu and his family, ministers, MKs, as well as current and former IDF commanders. The Prime Minister and his brother Ido said kaddish for Yoni at the gravesite.

Maj. Gen. (Res.) Amiram Levin spoke at the memorial service and said that the soldiers who served under Yoni loved and admired him. "We, the officers and the commanders, looked up to him very much. Yoni took command of the Sayeret Matkal commando unit in 1975, after he had proved himself and had excelled in battle in the Golan Heights during the Yom Kippur War."

"That is how it was when he bravely and courageously led the assault of the unit's soldiers n a Syrian commando force that landed near Nafah, when at night he led the unit to rescue Yossi Ben Hanan, who was wounded in Naja, when he advanced and guided the artillery forces into range of Damascus.

"That was his way, always brave, always cool, and always at the head of his troops. When he received command of his unit, Yoni was already mature, experienced and confident as a commander and as a natural leader. In his personal life he was still young, energetic, sensitive, and poetic. That's how we felt, and so we loved him," Levin said.